RTP strategic projects

The 2020 Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarships Competitive Round is now open for student applications.

As part of the application process, students are required to nominate a project in liaison with a Curtin supervisor who will provide a mandatory referee report on the student’s skills and attributes that align with the nominated project.

This year, we are happy to announce 42 Strategic Projects across various fields of research that have been aligned with supervisors from across Curtin. We invite you to express interest in these projects by contacting the nominated supervisor for the project.

If successful, these projects will provide the foundational focus of your Higher Degree by Research at Curtin.

To be eligible to be nominated for a strategic project you must:

Even if you are not eligible for one of the 42 strategic projects, this does not prevent you from applying as part of another project for the RTP2020 Scholarship.

Science and Engineering
Humanities
Business and Law
Health Sciences

Science and Engineering

PROJECT TITLE: Nanogeochronology of Earth’s oldest rocks

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: Our ability to precisely date rocks and minerals by radiometric methods underpins the most significant advances in geoscience research and provides the basis for understanding the geological evolution of Earth’s crust. A fundamental assumption of radiometric dating is that the original parent isotope and the radiogenic …… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name:   Professor Steven Reddy, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Email: s.reddy@curtin.edu.au

Contact Number: +61 8 9266 4371


PROJECT TITLE: Thermal Battery Development

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: This PhD is directed towards developing high temperature materials that store thermochemical energy for large-scale solar thermal plants so they can operate 24/7. New gas-solid energy storage materials will be synthesised and catalysed by mechanochemical and wet-chemical methods. The thermochemical materials may be …… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name: Professor Craig Buckley, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Email: c.buckley@curtin.edu.au

Contact Number: +61 8 9266 3542


PROJECT TITLE: Probing fast radio bursts on nanosecond timescales

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: Fast radio bursts are bright microsecond- to millisecond-timescale events that occur at cosmological distances. The energetics of their radio emission push the limits of our understanding: their ultra-luminous radio emission is some twelve orders of magnitude greater …… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name: Jean-Pierre Macquart, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Email: J.Macquart@curtin.edu.au

Contact Number: +61 8 9266 9248


PROJECT TITLE: Multi-metal oxide energy materials: Structural characterisation and electrochemical performance

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: Multi-metal oxides have been extensively investigated and utilised as electrode and electrolyte materials in energy conversion and storage areas such as advanced batteries, super capacitors, electro catalysts for water electrolysis and fuel cells.…… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name:   Matthew Rowles, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Email: matthew.rowles@curtin.edu.au

Contact Number: +61 8 9266 9069


PROJECT TITLE: Mapping planetary surface ages at ultimate resolution with machine learning

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: Planetary science is the study of the planets and moons in our solar system and the processes that formed them. Understanding the geological history of another world has an importance of its own, but there is a larger significance beyond that.…… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name:  Professor Gretchen Benedix, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Email: g.benedix@curtin.edu.au

Contact Number: +61 8 9266 1150


PROJECT TITLE: Exploring the geochemical/isotopic record contained within mineral inclusions in zircon

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: Zircon is by far the most important mineral used to date rocks via the U-Pb decay scheme and to trace crustal evolution via Hf and O isotopic and allied trace element studies.  Very commonly, igneous zircon contains co-precipitated mineral inclusions such as apatite, feldspar and micas.  Despite decades of zircon studies.…… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name:  Professor Pete Kinny, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Email: p.kinny@curtin.edu.au

Contact Number: +61 8 9266 4071


PROJECT TITLE: Dust and distress: evaluating and managing stress levels of EPBC-listed fauna associated with mining

PROJECT SYNOPSIS:Numerous studies indicate that tangible disturbances such as noise, vibration and habitat loss or alteration impact upon fauna. However, we hypothesize that more intangible disturbances such as peripheral contamination by metal-laden dusts produced during mineral extraction and processing (e.g. particulates of lead, arsenic, and cadmium) may also be .…… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name:   Associate Professor Philip William Bateman, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Email: bill.bateman@curtin.edu.au

Contact Number: +61 8 9266 2021


PROJECT TITLE: Diagnostic modelling and prediction of the failure of medical implants with machine learning

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: Currently, in Australia, the raw data of medical implant revisions are registered under a national data collection system. However, this data collection does not account for the root cause of most failures, namely corrosion. The Department of Medical Imaging.…… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name:   Professor Chris Aldrich, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Email: chris.aldrich@curtin.edu.au

Contact Number: +61 8 9266 4349


PROJECT TITLE: Advanced Communications Techniques for Small Satellites

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: This project will explore the miniaturization of revolutionary advances in communications for use in small satellites. Several techniques and technologies that have emerged over the past decade show promise in transforming space communications. In a heavily used and regulated radio-frequency spectrum, advances in antenna design.…… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name:  Professor Phil Bland, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Email: p.a.bland@curtin.edu.au

Contact Number: +61 8 9266 9763


PROJECT TITLE:  Development of negative stiffness damper for offshore wind turbine vibration control

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: Wind energy as one of the renewable energies is serving as an indispensable role in generating new electric power. The worldwide installation of wind farms has considerably increased recently. In Australia, the first offshore wind farm, the Star of the South, is also under development. This wind farm is located off the south coast of Gippsland, Victoria..…… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name:  Kaiming Bi, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Email: kaiming.bi@curtin.edu.au

Contact Number: +61 8 9266 5139


PROJECT TITLE:  Carbon Dioxide Electro-reduction in Ionic Liquids

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are growing at an alarming rate globally, which will accelerate global temperatures and lead to increased severe weather events and natural disasters. Removal of CO2 from the atmosphere is therefore a key target to achieve a .…… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name: Associate Professor Debbie Silvester-Dean, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Email: d.silvester-dean@curtin.edu.au

Contact Number: +61 8 9266 7148


PROJECT TITLE:  Predictive simulation of crystallisation

PROJECT SYNOPSIS:This proposal seeks to address the lack of a quantitatively accurate theory to describe how solid materials are formed from ions and molecules that are dissolved in a liquid. It is expected that innovative computer models will be generated that are capable of simulating macroscopic observations from results obtained for microscopic reactions alone .…… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name:  Julian Gale, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Email: J.Gale@curtin.edu.au

Contact Number: +61 8 9266 7800

Humanities

PROJECT TITLE: Trackless Trams and Urban Fabric Theory

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: Across the world trackless trams are emerging as a major city shaping force. This needs to be better understood in terms of how it can best optimally provide both transport and urban regeneration outcomes. The theory of urban fabrics can be used to see how trackless trams relate to walking, transit and automobile-based urban fabric…… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name:  Professor Peter Newman, Faculty of Humanities

Email: P.Newman@curtin.edu.au

Contact Number: 0407 935 133


PROJECT TITLE: Supporting Aboriginal School Staff to become Teachers

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: Recently the Education Department of WA granted the School of Education, Curtin University, $3.3m to fund a project to support Aboriginal teaching assistants (AIEOs) to be fully qualified teachers so that they may remain in their communities to teach students who reside in such locations.  This initiative will see the use of our school’s online courses, supplemented with different models of tutoring support to enable cohorts of Aboriginal people to attain a Bachelor of Education (Primary)…… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name:  Professor Rhonda Oliver, Faculty of Humanities

Email: rhonda.oliver@curtin.edu.au

Contact Number: +618 9266 2169


PROJECT TITLE: Maximising operational effectiveness in water utilities asset management

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: The primary aim of this project is to develop an innovative lifecycle semantic–based decision making approach through asset intelligence so as to maximize the operational effectiveness of maintenance and repair of water utility assets. The research intends to address an important gap by providing logical formalisms and real-time capability to life-cycle asset information through computational intelligence…… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name:  Associate Professor Peng Wu, Faculty of Humanities

Email: peng.wu@curtin.edu.au

Contact Number: 0423 740 310


PROJECT TITLE: Libraries and Open Access

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: Open Access (OA) is quickly becoming a ‘gold-standard’ for research quality internationally. A growing number of major research funders now require the outputs of the research that they support to be made OA. University libraries are playing a vital role in supporting this transition to open access. But in spite of early investment in library-based OA repositories, Australia continues to lag behind the United States and Western Europe…… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name:  Lucy Montgomery, Faculty of Humanities

Email: lucy.montgomery@curtin.edu.au

Contact Number: +61 8 9266 4992


PROJECT TITLE: Investigating the contemporary aesthetic of militarisation

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: The twenty years after 9/11 have been marked by an evolving militarisation of mainstream western visual culture, in which James Der Derian calls the Military Industrial Media Entertainment Network (MIME-network).  This PhD project continues the research of the larger Art in Conflict project in the School of Media, Creative Arts and Social Inquiry by investigating the aesthetics of conflict today…… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name:   Associate Professor Kit Messham-Muir, Faculty of Humanities

Email: kit.messham-muir@curtin.edu.au

Contact Number: +618 9266 2354


PROJECT TITLE: Fostering integration through alternative approaches to second language education

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: This project aims to foster the integration of humanitarian entrants to WA with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds through advancing their English language education. The project focuses on understanding the needs and backgrounds of these migrants and empowering them to make a personal investment in their English learning processes…… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name: Sender Dovchin, Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of Humanities

Email: Sender.Dovchin@curtin.edu.au

Contact Number: +618 9266 3524


PROJECT TITLE: Ethical Artificial Intelligence

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to provide social, economic, and environmental benefits. For Australia to realise these benefits, it’s important for citizens to have trust in how AI is being designed, developed and used by business and government. Given the increasing realisation of the potential for bias and amplification of social prejudice through AI, a critical understanding…… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name:   Associate Professor Katie Ellis, Faculty of Humanities

Email: Katie.ellis@curtin.edu.au


PROJECT TITLE: 21C STEM Skill evaluation

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: Many schools are implementing STEM programs in order to develop in students 21C or transversal skills, but there is little understanding about how to ascertain if these skills are being achieved. The skills include collaboration, problem solving, creative thinking, designing and so on, and all project purport to develop them, but in the absence of a verification mechanism.…… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name:  P John Williams, Faculty of Humanities

Email: pjohn.williams@curtin.edu.au

Contact Number: +61 8 9266 5814


PROJECT TITLE: Coffee, pests, and people: examining livelihood vulnerability and resilience, PNG

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: Coffee is a major agricultural export in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and an important income source for c.500,000 households. This is threatened by the recent arrival of a pest, Coffee Berry Borer (CBB). PNG smallholders are vulnerable because they typically adopt a low-input production approach.…… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name:  Professor George Curry, Faculty of Humanities

Email: G.Curry@exchange.curtin.edu.au

Contact Number: +61 8 92663310


PROJECT TITLE: Digital China (Tencent)

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: The Digital China Lab (DCL) welcomes research projects that seek to understand how social relations are changing in China due to the rapid introduction of digital technology. The priority themes are the Chinese social credit system and social management by data; the expansion of Chinese digital technologies and platforms into the Indian-Pacific…… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name:   Professor Michael Keane, Faculty of Humanities

Email: m.keane@curtin.edu.au

Contact Number: +61 8 9266 2612

Business and Law

PROJECT TITLE: An Empirical Analysis of Well-being, Health Outcomes, Health Behaviours

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: This study aims to uncover key links between health outcomes, behaviours and individuals’ self-reported well-being in order to understand how to allocate health care resources optimally. In order to address the research questions we anticipate …… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name:   Professor Ruhul Salim, Faculty of Business and Law

Email: ruhul.salim@cbs.curtin.edu.au

Contact Number: +61 8 9266 4577


PROJECT TITLE: Brand Innovations: Investigation on Effectiveness of Fashion Brand Collaborations and Radical Innovations

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: The fashion industry is undergoing dynamic shifts, especially with disruptions and emergence of new business formats, innovations and blurring lines between fashion categories (McKinsey, 2019). In particular, the lines between fast fashion, high fashion and also street wear have …… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name: Min Teah, Senior Lecturer Faculty of Business and Law

Email: min.teah@cbs.curtin.edu.au

Contact Number: +61 8 9266 4348


PROJECT TITLE: Understanding the barriers to implementing strategy: developing a conceptual framework for effective strategy execution

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: Whilst it is impossible to deny the importance of developing strategy, many of the strategies produced have little effect on the organisation and instead collect dust on shelves. This loss of opportunity is due to many factors…… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name:   Associate Professor Paul Alexander, Faculty of Business and Law

Email: p.alexander@cbs.curtin.edu.au

Contact Number: +61 8 9266 9666


PROJECT TITLE: Understanding Applicant Reactions to Modern Personnel Selection Procedures using a Self-Determination Theory Approach

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: While the dilemma of choosing who to employ will forever remain relevant to organisations, technological advancements have led to the continued development of new and innovative ways to assess the strengths and weaknesses of job applicants…… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name: Associate Professor Patrick Dunlop, Faculty of Business and Law

Email: patrick.dunlop@curtin.edu.au

Contact Number: +61 8 9266 4824


PROJECT TITLE: How leadership is developed: Personal changes and the contribution of the organisation

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: The development of effective leaders and leadership behaviour is a desideratum for every organisation. Few, however, believe that their organisations effectively contribute to developing future leaders [1]. Leadership development is a progressive process.…… click here to read more.

Project Lead Contact

Name:   Associate Professor Paul Alexander, Faculty of Business and Law

Email: p.alexander@cbs.curtin.edu.au

Contact Number: +61 8 9266 9666


PROJECT TITLE: Their Own Worst Enemies. Behavioural Finance and the Investments of Australian Households

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: The Australian Productivity Commission (APC) recently noted that “super[annuation] has been a large and compulsory public policy endeavour, yet there is remarkably little publicly available data on the outcomes that individual members are actually experiencing — in terms of the returns they earn, the fees they pay, the insurance…… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name:   Professor Ruhul Salim, Faculty of Business and Law

Email: ruhul.salim@cbs.curtin.edu.au

Contact Number: +61 8 9266 4577


PROJECT TITLE: The use of monetary incentives in organizations: Getting what you pay for?

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: The use of pay-for-performance schemes is ubiquitous in the workplace, with bonus and incentive programs increasingly being used across industries and types of jobs, even for white-collar work and public organisations.…… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name: Associate Professor Patrick Dunlop, Faculty of Business and Law

Email: patrick.dunlop@curtin.edu.au

Contact Number: +61 8 9266 4824


PROJECT TITLE: Residential mobility and housing tenure decisions among older Australians

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: Population ageing is a significant and lasting demographic shift that will usher in major economic and social transitions globally. The oldest of the baby boomer cohort born during 1946-1965 turned 55 years old at the beginning of this century and the youngest will turn 55 years old in 2020…… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name: Professor Ruhul Salim, Faculty of Business and Law

Email: ruhul.salim@cbs.curtin.edu.au

Contact Number: +61 8 9266 4577


PROJECT TITLE: Licence to obfuscate: Consumer hypocrisy in sustainable tourism in a post-truth era

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: As societal pressures to comply with sustainability are mounting, there is an increasing need to differentiate between corporations’ talk on the one hand and their substantive practices on the other. Initially considered an area for government regulation, sustainability…… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name: Min Teah, Faculty of Business and Law

Email: min.teah@cbs.curtin.edu.au

Contact Number: +61 8 9266 4348


PROJECT TITLE: Towards optimal taxation, pensions and welfare policy design for Australia

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: This project will combine theoretical and empirical innovations in behavioural tax/welfare policy evaluation and household decision modelling to improve the quality and effectiveness of tax/welfare policy design…… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name: Professor Ruhul Salim, Faculty of Business and Law

Email: ruhul.salim@cbs.curtin.edu.au

Contact Number: +61 8 9266 4577

Health Sciences

PROJECT TITLE: LEAP (Learning through Everyday Activities with Parents): Co-creating intervention strategies for Aboriginal communities, families and infants at risk of Cerebral Palsy (CP) and Neuro-developmental Delay (NDD).

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: This project aims to harness the strengths and resilience of Aboriginal people living in rural and remote regions to implement and evaluate the impact of Learning through Everyday Activities with Parents (LEAP). It is a proactive approach to support families before challenges arise…… click here to read more

LEAP is delivered by members of the local community for their own community, allowing all Australian children to reach their potential.

Project Lead Contact

Name: Dr Courtenay Harris, Faculty of Health Sciences

Email: c.harris@curtin.edu.au 


PROJECT TITLE: Quantifying the influence of aspects of continuity of primary care on quality, safety and low-value care in the Australian healthcare system

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: A strong and well-functioning primary care sector is key to delivering effective, efficient, timely and equitable care. For prevalent chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart failure and asthma, a shift in emphasis from acute to primary care has the potential to delay or prevent the onset of complications and reduce potentially avoidable emergency department presentations (ED) …… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name: Associate Professor Rachael Moorin, Faculty of Health Sciences

Email: r.moorin@curtin.edu.au


PROJECT TITLE: Statistical models to predict birth outcomes, mortality and hospitalisation in the first 3 years of life

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: This exciting, fully-funded PhD provides an opportunity for a motivated student to contribute to the improved survival and health of babies and young children. Access to large health registries enables a realistic opportunity for precision medicine. In this application, risk can be identified before the child is born…… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name:  Associate Professor Gavin Pereira, Faculty of Health Sciences

Email: gavin.f.pereira@curtin.edu.au


PROJECT TITLE: The biomechanics of lifting; development and validation of a field based sensor system

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: Wearable sensors are popular devices for tracking human movement quantity (e.g., number of steps) and quality (e.g., knee angles during walking). Yet to date, there is no automated method to track the trunk, and more specifically the lumbar spine, during lifting.…… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name:  Professor Amity Campbell, Faculty of Health Sciences

Email: a.campbell@curtin.edu.au


PROJECT TITLE: Virtual reality optic flow for assessment of subconcussion and return to play following concussion

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: Historically, full recovery from sports related concussion has been assumed. In the last decade concussion research has become a public health priority as evidence for the long term cognitive, mental and sensorimotor health consequences of a history of repeated concussion in sports…… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name:  Susan Morris, Faculty of Health Sciences

Email: s.morris@curtin.edu.au


PROJECT TITLE: Designing a healthy cell-based transplantable pancreas using bio-nanotechnology, bio-printing and advanced bile acid-biomaterials

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: The supervisory team consists of 1) Dr Al-Salami, a leading expert in bio-nanotechnology, and bile acid-based biomaterials, and in 2014 was the first in the world to pioneer a new concept that incorporation of humans gut-produced bile components into pharmaceutical gels using nanotechnology…… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name:  Hani Al-Salami, Faculty of Health Sciences

Email: hani.al-salami@curtin.edu.au


PROJECT TITLE: Improving peripheral vision for early target detection in panoramic imagery

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: Our ability to detect and recognize objects in the periphery is severely impaired by visual clutter. However, early target detection in peripheral vision is essential in many applied areas in particular in defence settings where displays are information rich and cover a considerable area…… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name:  Welber Marinovic, Faculty of Health Sciences

Email: welber.marinovic@curtin.edu.au


PROJECT TITLE: Living Losses in the Context of Low Grade Glioma

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: Primary brain tumours have substantial social and economic impacts on patients and their families. The most common type of primary malignant brain tumours are gliomas, which have a high rate of mortality and morbidity. A low grade glioma (LGG) is a grade 1 or 2 primary brain neoplasm, or tumour…… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name:  Lauren Breen, Faculty of Health Sciences

Email: Lauren.Breen@curtin.edu.au


PROJECT TITLE: The epidemiology of ambulance attended falls patients in Western Australia

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: Falls are a major cause of unintentional trauma. The World Health Organisation estimate falls to be the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths worldwide. Falls are the most common reason an ambulance is called in Western Australia (WA), and the most common cause of major trauma transported by ambulances in metropolitan Perth.…… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name:  Professor Judith Finn, Faculty of Health Sciences

Email: judith.finn@curtin.edu.au


PROJECT TITLE: Medicinal cannabis for a treatment of dementia by using novel nanoparticle nasal drug delivery system

PROJECT SYNOPSIS: Non-insulin dependent type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is well-recognized to induce cognitive impairment and significantly increase the risk of dementia by ~5-fold. However, the underlying mechanisms by which T2DM induces cognitive decline are not fully understood, and thus, there are no effective therapeutic strategies available for its prevention and treatment.…… click here to read more

Project Lead Contact

Name: Ryu Takechi, Faculty of Health Sciences

Email: R.Takechi@curtin.edu.au